Finding and creating adventures in everyday life.


Words on Wednesday – Thoughts on my Photo a Day Challenge in 2016.

I made it! I loved having a daily challenge in 2016. And it was, indeed, a challenge. In the end, I missed 6 days where I took no photos of any kind. That’s a bummer, but it also means that I took 360 photos! (I actually took so many photos this year and I love it!)

Day 01 2016

Day 1 2016 My First Image of the Year.

I shot the majority of my photos on my Canon D7200 that I got the year before. I took a photography course in October of 2015 and it was amazing! I have shot my photos almost exclusively in Manual mode since then. I took some photos in the challenge with my phone, but most of them were with my DSLR.

Day 29 2016

Day 29 2016

I have discovered that I love the journalistic style of photography. Capturing moments of everyday life.

Day 121 2016

Day 121 2016

I was lazy at times and only grabbed photos in the moments before falling into bed. This was good and bad. It caused me to look around my home and find those interesting (to me) scenes and images that I might have missed.

Day 207 2016

Day 207 2016

I didn’t do much planning at all. I just tried to be mindful of seeing things and getting my camera out and grabbing a shot. I carried my camera with me almost constantly, which I’ve never done before.

I definitely see the world in photographs. I love the idea of capturing and keeping moments. Nostalgia and memories are so important to me.


Day 261 2016

I did increase my skills with the camera, just through constant use. However, one of my hopes for this challenge was to try new techniques and explore more of what my camera can do and that didn’t happen. It turned into more of just getting a shot each day rather than planning shots and creating something. I don’t regret it at all and I got some amazing shots, but I do want to push myself more.

Day 246 2016

Day 246 2016

Looking ahead to 2017, I am embarking on another Photography challenge. It will be a weekly challenge and I found the prompts online. It will be something that I will be able to take the time to plan and work on various techniques. The website I found the challenge on is Dogwood Photography, and I like that it is more than just a list of prompts.

I imagine that I will return to the Photo a Day challenge in future years. Despite its challenges and frustrations, I loved doing it.

Day 115 2016

Day 115 2016


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Words on Wednesday – Doing Hard Things

I’m pretty lazy. I’m also a procrastinator. I wish I weren’t and I am trying to change, but those are the facts. These are not traits that I admire and I hope that I don’t pass them on to my children.

I’m also a homebody and while I love being outdoors, it’s not always my first choice. That being said, I have been making an effort to get outside more and make sure that outdoor activities are a part of our family life. We recently got away to the Oregon Gardens Resort for a couple of days as a family and included lots of outdoor time and activities.

On our way to the Resort, we stopped at Silver Falls. Our hiking book said it was a pretty easy hiking loop – I love loops – I don’t like backtracking. It mentioned some elevation change, but it didn’t seem too bad. It was a bit rainy, but we headed out and it was amazing! You actually start at the top of the North Falls and then the trail leads you down to the South Falls. When I say leads you down, I mean DOWN. Which is all well and good until you realize you have to hike back UP to get back to the car.IMG_20141018_164038 IMG_20141018_164056 October 2014 164 October 2014 198

Both Falls were beautiful and you actually get to walk underneath them. The boys were loving it and so was I. Once we passed the Lower South Falls, the trail started to head on back to the parking area. It was a picturesque hike on a paved trail, but it was hard work – lots of switchbacks that seemed to never end. I was tired and as Jude and I walked along, he made it clear that he was tired too and wasn’t very happy about this hike. I responded, as much to myself as to him, that if we weren’t making our way back UP, it would mean that we hadn’t gone DOWN to see the Falls. Hard work isn’t always fun, but there is often a reason that will make it worth it. October 2014 186 October 2014 209 October 2014 211 October 2014 240 edit

The following day, we spent hours in the Oregon Gardens doing a geocache challenge – it involved finding 10 geocaches throughout the Garden. It was a lot of fun, but it took a long time and there were several geocaches that were very hard to find and we all wanted to give up at times. The hardest one to find was the last one and it was terrible! It was tiny and nearly impossible to see even though we knew we were in the right place. Again, that desire to give up was strong in all of us, but we persevered and finished what we started. October 2014 252 October 2014 258 October 2014 277 October 2014 274 October 2014 283

So as I face hard things, things that I don’t want to do, that are challenging and difficult, I can remember the lessons that I hope my boys learned. Somethings are hard to do, do them anyway. There will be rewards that are obvious – views, experiences, bragging rights. There will be rewards that are not so obvious – the strengthening of those invisible muscles of will, the knowledge that you can do things that are difficult, courage that the next time you are challenged, while it might not be easy, you can do this.

I also learned some lessons on our hike and during out time in the Garden. It’s easier to do difficult things when you are sharing the journey – you will sometimes have to do things by yourself, but seek help or support or simply a listening ear whenever you can. Colin often encourages me when I want to give up and then, I hope, I encourage him when his enthusiasm wanes and he is discouraged. Have fun and laugh – we laughed a lot in the rain as we climbed the path and as we searched for those elusive geocaches – we also argued some and weren’t always kind, but the laughter and the jokes won out and made the difficulties easier. Once you have done that hard thing, no one can take that from you. It’s done. There will be more hard things, but that hard thing is done. You may have to do that particular hard thing again, but you’ll know that you can do it.

I also know that sometimes I don’t do the hard things. I shy away. I avoid. I don’t even begin. Other times I start and I give up, I don’t finish. It makes me sad, it frustrates me, it discourages me and it can make me want to give up on future endeavors. I have to think about what I would tell me children if they shied away from a challenge or started something and gave up because it was difficult. I wouldn’t love them any less. I wouldn’t think that they were less. I wouldn’t berate them. I would love them and comfort them and I would challenge them – remind them that they can, in fact, do difficult things. Perhaps instead of beating myself up when I don’t complete a challenge, I can do what I would do for my kids – love, comfort, remember and challenge.

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Words on Wednesday – Busy, busy, busy…

Not much on the blog this week. Just crazy busy, I’ll be back at it next week.

I mostly wanted to share the image below, because I almost chose it as my Halloween costume and it’s a pretty clear picture of my life this week.

I don’t know who to credit the image to. I think I saw it on Facebook or Pinterest. I applaud whoever came up with it though!

For reals, if you have a PTA or PTO or PTSA or booster club or anything of the sort at your child’s school – support them! You don’t have to go all out, but volunteer, give, encourage. These parents are giving a lot in time, money and talent to make schools better, not only for their own kids, but for all the kids at school.

I love being a part of the PTA and wouldn’t change it, it’s amazing. It’s also a lot of hard work. Here’s to a busy, busy, busy week.

PTA Costume


Words on Wednesday – Unexpected Friendships

I’m an introvert. It’s not particularly easy for me to socialize and make small talk and get to know people. I am also reserved and a bit guarded when it comes to people. There is a lot to say about introvertedness – it’s not shyness, it’s not about not liking people, it’s not about thinking that you are better than other people – all common misconceptions. I have lots to say about being an introvert, but that is for another time. This is about friendship and I am talking about it from my perspective.

I believe, and for me it was true, that it was so much easier to make friends when I was younger. I was in school or youth group, later in college and YWAM, as a single person sharing accommodation with other single people – I was with people a lot and relationships naturally formed out of those shared experiences, the tremendous amount of time that was spent together, our common schedules and to be honest, our more carefree lifestyles. Then, something happened, I got married, we moved (a lot), we started to have more responsibility. Then, the unthinkable happened (at least for us!), we had a child, then we had another one! Our priorities shifted, our schedule become much less flexible and we were just so tired all the time.

I believe that regardless of marital status or whether you have kids, as you mature, you become more focused through employment, education, ministry or interests. You have less free time to spend developing relationships. You and your friends, or your would-be friends, have different schedules, you get busy and that’s ok. Still relationships are important and as adults, it simply takes more intentionality and effort.

My husband and I would often get frustrated and still do, that it does seem to take so much work to develop and maintain friendships. We try to have dinner with another family and it’s a month out before we can find a time when all our schedules match up for a few hours. There are definitely ways to nurture those relationships along the way though – phone calls, texts, email, Facebook, or gasp, a hand-written note!

I digress, though. I want to talk about unexpected friendships. Having kids, while it has limited our time and energy in some ways, has opened up the doors to relationships with people I wouldn’t have gotten to know otherwise. I would highly recommend joining a parent’s of preschoolers group if you have little kids – it was a lifeline for me. A place to connect with people who were experiencing the same things I was experiencing. It also connected me to friends who have become so dear to me.

There have been people in my life who I thought I would connect with – they were similar to me, or who just seemed like we would hit it off. Many of those people aren’t my friends – they might be acquaintances now, but they aren’t my deep connections.

April 2014 152

There was a girl in my moms group who intimidated me. Long blonde hair, beautiful, always impeccably dressed, and I didn’t think she liked me at all. I didn’t have much of a basis for this assumption, other than we seemed so different and we had never talked. One day, we were making pizzas in an assembly line type situation – I cracked a joke, she laughed. My perception of her shifted a bit. A couple of weeks later, we were at a leadership dinner and happened to be sitting across from each other. We talked. That was it, we talked and my life was changed. We discovered so much that we had in common. We both had sons starting kindergarten soon – we shared our hopes and fears. She is funny and spiritual without being weird. She is wise and thinks deeply and extensively about issues. We spent the morning commiserating at the park, the day our sons started kindergarten. We also spent the morning together when our second children started kindergarten – though, this time we threw in breakfast and  “mourning” drinks. She also throws great parties! Our friendship has grown over the years and it is a treasure to me.


Tracy has inspired me in so many ways. Easter Brunch at a friend’s house with all our families this last year resulted in me joining a Pole, Pedal, Paddle team – an experience that was scary and exhilarating and amazing. She encourages me, she listens when I am frustrated, she cries with me and doesn’t judge my easy tears. She challenges me to do better, to be a better friend, parent, person. And I came so close to missing that relationship. That’s a scary thought!


While we share a lot of passions and interests, we are still quite different. I love that I have friends who challenge my worldview, my sometimes narrow ways of doing and seeing. That, too, is a gift of friendship.

April 2014 146

So, as I look around my world, I am more open to people. Not everyone is going to be a close friend, but I sure don’t want to miss out on a relationship because it comes wrapped in a package of unfamiliarity or difference.


I am eternally thankful for my friendship with a beautiful, blonde lady who shared a joke, then a conversation and now a journey with me. I love you Tracy! (Tracy is also an amazing writer – check her out over at Dripping Orange)




Words on Wednesday – I’m Back…

Blogging is a funny thing. It’s a good thing, but it’s kind of strange. Blogging has turned into a career for many people, it has garnered international attention and bloggers are seen as a force to be reckoned with. Companies seek blogger’s opinions, endorsements and appearances. I think this is all great and definitely opening up the world to differing viewpoints, points of connection and dialog. For me, this has been a bit intimidating of late. There are so many voices, saying truly profound and meaningful things. There are bloggers posting amazing handmade crafts and gorgeous people showing such talent in putting interesting and innovative outfits together. Where do I fit in?

Blogging for me is a creative outlet, a place for me to share my thoughts, my outfits, my crafts. I definitely want to connect with people, otherwise I’m shouting into a vacuum. I am stepping back into the blogging world with joy and trepidation.

I hope my friends and family will stop by my blog and check out what is there. I hope to connect with other fashiony, crafty, wordy people. I hope to learn new skills both technically and creatively.

My boys are both in school now (sigh) so my schedule is a bit freer to explore some creative things. I need to keep my mind and creative energy engaged. And don’t ever let anyone tell you that blogging is easy – time, effort, thought and action. I’m excited to be back at it. I’m also disciplining myself to take time each week to write. I love to write, but if I don’t set the time aside it doesn’t happen.

Here’s to crafting, creating, style and sharing the journey!

I wanted to blog, but I got buried!

I wanted to blog, but I got buried!

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Words on Wednesday – Rocket Ship Adventure

Jude loves to write and illustrate books. I love seeing his imagination take off and wondering what he will come up with next. I encourage him to do it and help him with the logistics when he wants to write. So, when he challenged me to write a story, I could hardly refuse. I wrote and illustrated the following book in about ten minutes with a ball point pen and some copy paper. I wasn’t too sure about it at first, but once I started, it was heaps of fun.

I hope you enjoyed my little foray into children’s literature.


Mawwiage…That Dream Within a Dream

“Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togethew today. Mawwiage, that bwessed awwangement, that dweam within a dweam. And wove, twue wove, wiww fowwow you fowevah and evah… So tweasuwe youw wove.” The Impressive Clergyman, Princess Bride

My husband & I just celebrated 13 years of marriage a few weeks ago.  I can hardly believe it’s been that long and at the same time, it seems like we’ve always been together. It’s been a wonderful thing sharing life with my Colin. However, being married ain’t all gum drops and slow dancing! Especially being married to me. There are times when marriage is hard work, there are times when it is boring, there are times when it’s not much fun at all. Nothing has challenged me to grow like being married & I was kicking and screaming a bunch of that time.

My husband and I were friends before we started going out. We had both had previous relationship experiences that made us want to enter into our own relationship with honesty and openness. We have a lot in common, but plenty of differences to keep things interesting. I believe we had a great start to our marriage, but that doesn’t mean it has been easy. We have had some incredible disagreements, arguments, and fights. There have been slammed doors, unkind words, painful silences and I can tell, you the sun has definitely gone down on our anger!

I just said "Yes"! Near Tower Bridge, London

There is also this amazing shared story. The private jokes, the pain that no one knows but us, the secrets we keep for each other, the respect that we have for each other, the love that no one else can match for our sons. There is no doubt that we have seen each other at our worst and we have shared one another’s joys and triumphs.

Lake Victoria, Uganda

In recent years, I have actually felt our relationship deepening and maturing. The greatest contributing factor in that has been learning to communicate. There will always be things that come up that need to be worked through, but I believe that if you learn how to communicate, the battle is mostly won. Styles of communication are unique to every couple, but when you know your own hang ups and your spouse’s quirks, it makes things so much easier.

A few days before our wedding, London

We disagree regularly, but we resolve things so much quicker than we used to. We are able to laugh at ourselves mid-argument (randomly laughing or making fun of each other doesn’t always work, but it will occasionally do the trick!)

My parents have always said that if you are committed to staying married (and we are, for better or for worse, the D word isn’t a part of our vocabulary) then you might as well enjoy it. Be nice, be kind, be polite. Nurture your relationship. The boys see us disagree, but they see us resolve those disagreements. They see us laugh (a lot), they see us play, they see us love each other.

We said "I Do"!

I count it a joy and honour to be married to Colin. I’m thankful that we found one another, each thousands of miles from our own countries. Someday soon, I’ll write down our love story – I think it’s a good one.

The Blacketts

I’m looking forward to more adventures, more of everyday life, more growth and more laughter together. I believe that a healthy marriage is the greatest gift we can give to our sons and to ourselves!


Words on Wednesday – It's a Mom's Life

There are things that you expect when you become a Mom, things people tell you about. The love, the worry, the tiredness (though nothing really prepares you for the sheer exhaustion that is your constant companion for the first few months, or years!)

People talk about mothering as being a great calling. So vital and important and world-changing. When I step back from my life, I can sort of see that, but in the day-to-day, in the nitty-gritty, it’s easy to lose sight of. Being a mom is hard.

As a stay at home mom, I struggle almost daily with feeling like I’m not doing anything of great import. I clean up messes, make meals, do laundry, answer lots of questions, do a lot of child negotiation, clean up messes, get frustrated with my boys, play games, feel guilty about the amount of television that they watch, clean up messes.

Worth It

As with many things and as a self-centered human being, I tend to think that I am the only one who feels this way. I was talking to a friend the other day, a woman I respect and who I see as being very involved – in the lives of her children, in the church, in a mom’s group. You know what, she feels the same way! She had recently spent time with some people who seemed to have these exciting, full lives. People who had so much to talk about. As moms, when people ask us what is happening in our lives, we feel like we don’t have a lot to say. Take the kids to swim class, have a play date, tidy the house, read a book. We often get glimpses into the lives of others and think that they must have it more together than we do – they have more going on, they have more focus, more energy, more exciting activities.

We moms are all different. Some work, some minister, some have more energy, some are older, some are younger, some stay at home, some seem to have twenty things going on and are doing them all well, some do less.

I know in a philosophical way that “the hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world”, but as I look around my messy house, unable to pick all the messes up one more time today, I don’t feel like I’m ruling anything.

I am so grateful that I get to be at home with my boys, so grateful. I know that these years will fly by and I wouldn’t trade them, but it’s hard sometimes.

Worth It

I miss being involved in leadership, in the church, in grown up endeavors. I wonder if and when I will be involved in missions again. Want to hear a true confession? I know you do. I avoid meetings, talks, and groups where I know they will talk about missions and passion and getting involved. It is heartbreaking to listen to people talk about things that you are passionate about and feel impotent to get involved, to wonder if you’ll ever go to Africa again, to wonder if your potential has passed you by and now your dreams reside in your children (which is a really bad idea, both for them and for you.) Besides, I really dislike crying in public.

I do try to make sure that I am doing grown up things – this blog (though there is a lot of kid-talk), personal creativity (making things, writing). Still it’s hard, at times, not to feel like I lack purpose, focus and respect. And to be quite honest, the day-to-day stuff feels just plain boring sometimes.

Then it hits me, this too shall pass. It will pass too quickly, my children won’t always be dependent on me and then what? Then there will be something else. I will have more energy, more strength, more time and I will invest those things somewhere else. I pray that I will be ready. In the meantime, I must encourage myself daily that this life, this time I have with my boys is a worthy calling, it’s a tough gig, it’s a mission.

Worth It

I don’t want to rule the world, but I do pray that I am making a difference.

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Words on Wednesday – Challenged

So, I have come to rely on one evening a week to do some writing on my own at a coffee shop. It didn’t happen this week. I am a bit annoyed. I find it quite difficult to do much writing at home while the boys are around. So I have thoughts swirling around in my head, but haven’t had a chance to get them on paper. I definitely need to work on either being able to write at home or having a backup plan when my regular writing time falls through.

I like the idea of writing for five minutes a day. My friend, Adriel, has a blog where she does that. Perhaps I need to give that a go. Certainly I must be able to find five minutes to myself? We shall see.

I also need the more extended periods of writing time though, so at the moment, I am challenged. That’s ok, I’ll just have to get creative.

In other news, I am trying to decide what to do with this.

I have had a vegetable garden for four years. Each year it has gotten a bit more difficult and less joyful for me. A lot of that is owing to our Central Oregon weather. We have an extremely short growing season with late and early frosts. I am considering whether I may just let my raised beds lie fallow for this year and hope to find renewed passion for it next year. Kind of makes me feel like a lazy bum, like I should just get on with it. It might need to be what I do though. We’ll see. Still pondering.

On this second day of Spring, we woke to snow on the ground and more falling. I really do love that.

How do you find time for your own pursuits? I need help figuring it out.


Words on Wednesday – Questions, Questions, Questions

My status update on Facebook recently went like this:

Jude: Why isn’t God a million, or a google, or a googolplex (in age)? Are the clouds above the sky or under the sky? When everyone dies, will there still be a heaven and an earth? What makes the bubbles in pop? This boy keeps me on my toes & running to Google, God, Daddy & Grandpa for answers! (Not necessarily in that order.)

These were questions that came up during a short car ride.  Jude is four years old. He is working hard at figuring out the universe.  My husband and I are, for the moment, the ones that he asks these questions to the most. He wants answers. So do I. I still have so many questions, there are so many things that I don’t understand. I try to answer him as honestly as I can, to say “I don’t know” when I don’t know, to say let’s Google it, to say let’s ask Daddy or Grandpa or Grandma. But I know that some of the questions he asks simply don’t have clear answers. Questions about the nature of God and of Man.

I think about my own journey of faith. I look back on how I viewed things as a teenager, as a young adult – I could be so rigid, everything was black and white and it was safe and it was comfortable. I don’t see things that way anymore, life is much more grey than I once thought. This grey landscape can be scary and uncomfortable, there are many more unanswered and unanswerable questions than I ever thought there could be. It’s also a place of great love and freedom. I’ve found a God of grace and forgiveness. I’ve found fellow pilgrims disguised as vagabonds. I’ve found truth in rated R movies.  I’ve found love where I thought there was only judgement.

I want my sons to discover that love for themselves. I will be part of their journey, I hope that I can impart wisdom, and that they can avoid some of the mistakes that I made. I also know that they have to find their own way. They will make mistakes, they will judge, they will be blinded to things. Their questions will probably scare me and I will fear for the roads they might take, but I pray that they keep asking the questions because there are often, but not always, answers. Sometimes the answers aren’t what we expected, but there is always love.

Then there are those questions I love, the ones that have easy answers that I can Google! What sound does a rhinoceros make? (It sounds like a donkey.) How many people are there in the whole world? (Seven billion.) How many kinds of animals are there in the world? (There are an estimated three million different kinds of animals.)

My favourite thing is when Jude or Zane reminds me of the truth that we know, but sometimes forget. That we can pray and God hears. That God heals us. That Jesus loves everyone. Jude’s memory verse for Awana this week was, “Jesus came into the world to save sinners”. He accidentally said “scissors” instead of “sinners” the first time he said it, so that has been his joke all week. I have a picture in my head now of Jesus gathering up all the scissors in the world and rescuing them from certain doom. Anyway, on our way to Awana tonight, Jude was saying the scripture, but he was saying, “Jesus came into the world to save all sinners.” I was about to correct him, when he told me that he knows it just says “sinners”, but he knows that Jesus wants to save “all sinners.” I wasn’t about to argue with that because it’s the truth.

Keeping asking, keep seeking, find truth, find love. That’s the best thing I can wish for my boys.